News

Silver and two bronze on final day of World Rowing Championships

1 September 2014

ROWING: Australia rounded off the 2014 World Rowing Championships on Sunday with one silver and two bronze medals at the Bosbaan in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

The 2013 World Rowing Champion in the Women’s Single Scull, Australia’s Kim Crow, couldn’t replicate the form that saw her claim the title last year in South Korea, with this year’s honours going to New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.
 
Meanwhile, the Men’s Double Scull of James McRae and Alexander Belonogoff and the Women’s Double Scull of Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe both claimed bronze medals in the finals of their respective boat classes.
 
Australia has concluded its campaign at the 2014 World Rowing Championships with one silver and three bronze in Olympic events. In all events (including Paralympic) Australia achieved two gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals. The country concluded the event as third in the overall medal table, behind New Zealand and Great Britain.
 
Crow, the AOC Athletes' Commission Chair, went into the final at the World Championships as the reigning Single Scull World Champion but was going to have a tough fight on her hands as she was up against the 2014 World Rowing Cup Champion, New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.
 
At the 500 metre mark, Crow was in the lead while Twigg was hot on her heels and as the race progressed, the New Zealand sculler chased down Crow and continued to lead the battle from the half-way point.
 
It was not to be Crow’s day, as she finished 2.38 seconds behind the new World Champion Twigg, who finished with a time of 7:14:95.
 
Crow commented post-race: “It was tough but it was one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever done. I had a great race, but Emma (Twigg) got me again and credit to her for it, she’s had a great season and I have nothing but respect for her. I am actually really happy.
 
“It’s been a mixed experience here, I’ve had some good rows and some not so good rows, which is a good chance to realise on what is working and also what I need to go home and work on again but I feel I’ve stepped up since World Rowing Cup 3 in Lucerne so moving in the right direction.”
 
The Men’s Double Scull final saw Australia line up against Germany, Lithuania, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria, the noticeable absentee being the World Champions, Norway, who didn’t make the final.
 
From the start, Valent and Martin Sinkovic (Croatia) had the lead, and they maintained it through the entire race but it was to be the battle for second and third that proved to be the most interesting. Italy’s Romano Battisti and Francesco Fossi were sitting in the second position while a battle unfolded for third place between Australia, Germany and Lithuania.
 
As the crews approached the 500 metre line, the Croatians were in the lead by some two-boat-lengths, but then McRae and Belonogoff put in the push for the second place and were fast approaching Italy and when it came to the finish line, the Italians took second by a bow ball in what was to be a photo finish that saw them separated by just 0.01 of a second.
 
Post-race, Belonogoff said: “It was a pretty good race, I thought we went out well, we just wanted to put together our best race and we certainly did that today. We had a nice fast semi-final a few days ago which gave us a bit of confidence for today so we’re pretty happy with that.”
 
McRae added about the conditions: “I’d say the conditions in our semi-final were tougher than today’s race, especially as in the semi-final it’s about the top three going through and there’s probably about ten crews in this boat class currently who could all make it through.
 
“I’m pretty happy to get on the podium, it was pretty tight between everyone but it was definitely another good race for us and I’m very happy with that.”
 
In the Women’s Double Scull, Poland and Australia lined up next to each other after having identical qualifying times from the semi-final stage. Kehoe and Aldersey showed their cards early, taking the lead by the 500 metre mark as they out-rated the rest of the field. They were leading by almost a boat length as they approached the 1000 metre line.

At the halfway mark, the New Zealand crew of Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson began to make its move on the rest of the pack and chasing up on the Australian leaders. As Kehoe and Aldersey began to lose momentum in the second half of the race, New Zealand powered their way through to take the gold, while Poland muscled Australia into third.

Aldersey said post-race: “I think we probably didn’t row the best we could of in these conditions, I think basically we just didn’t have our best race and that was shown in what happened out there today.

“I think finishing on the podium is a good start from us as new crew but it’s now about regrouping and looking at how we can finish higher on the podium.”

It is only four years ago since Aldersey, now 22, was competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. She has now confirmed her transition from outstanding junior to senior and has the Rio Olympics in her sights. 

In the A-Final of the Lightweight Men’s Four, Australia’s Nick Silcox, Samuel Beltz, Blair Tunevitsch and Thomas Gibson had a tough battle on their hands as they faced a final featuring the reigning World Champions, Denmark.

The Tasmanian-based crew started out on in fourth and struggled to make it out of that position as the Danish led from start to finish, followed by New Zealand and Great Britain. The Australian Lightweight Men’s Four ultimately finished in fifth at the conclusion of the race.

In the two B-Finals of the last day of the Championships, the Men’s and Women’s Coxed Eights competed under sunny conditions on the Bosbaan.
 
The Women’s Eight were first up and the crew, stroked by Kate Hornsey, finished their race in fourth, despite a last minute push for third over France, the race was ultimately won by Germany.
 
The Australian Men’s Eight, who just missed out on a place in the A-Final, were in Lane 3 and up against Italy, Netherlands, Belarus, China and Spain. Stroked by Joshua Hicks and coxed by David Webster, the crew led the race from start to finish.
 
While the hometown favourites, The Netherlands, attempted to chase down the Australians, Webster looked right and left and urged his crew to push through and take the win, and that they did. The crew clocked in a time of 5:24:71 and concluded the World Championships as the seventh best nation in the world when it comes to the Men’s Coxed Eight.
 
Australia’s medals at the 2014 World Rowing Championships were as follows:
 
Gold
Erik Horrie – ASM1x (non-Olympic)
Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis – TAMix2x (non-Olympic)
 
Silver
Kimberley Crow – W1x
Hannah Every-Hall, Maia Simmonds, Sarah Pound and Laura Dunn – LW4x (non-Olympic)
Kate Murdoch and Jeremy McGrath – LTAMix2x (non-Olympic)
 
Bronze
Fergus Pragnell, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd – M4-
Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe – W2x
James McRae and Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff – M2x

Rowing Australia Release with some AOC additions

Bronze for Australia's Men's Four on penultimate day of World Champs

ROWING: Australia’s Men’s Coxless Four walked away with a bronze medal in the final of the 2014 World Rowing Championships in what was a hard fought race on the Bosbaan in The Netherlands.

The dominant crew in this boat class in the 2014 season has been Great Britain, and they quickly proved themselves to be the team to beat once again in racing conditions. They flew out of the start very quickly, pursued by the USA, 2013 World Champions The Netherlands as well as Australia’s crew of Fergus Pragnell, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd.

Australia sat back in fourth for the first 1000 metres of the race before making its move on the Dutch crew, who were third at that same point, much to the chagrin of the home supporters. It was going to be a tough call for the Australian crew to chase down both the USA and Great Britain, but Lloyd upped the stroke rate to 38 and the crew pushed on, hot on the heels of the USA.

As they approached the line, the Australians were closing in on the USA but missed out on taking the silver off the Americans by just 0.57 seconds, as Great Britain took the gold in a time of 5:40:24, a time that was 3.34 seconds quicker than Australia.

Post-race, Dunkley-Smith said the variable weather conditions had perhaps not helped the crew’s race: “To be honest, today was a little bit of a relief, we didn’t quite have the race we wanted to, we came out quite well for the first hundred and unfortunately under conditions like this you’re moving quite quickly and really sweetly and in a very quick instant it can turn quite bad.

“We clipped a bit of water and caught a bit of a crab and lost a fair bit of momentum through there but managed to get back on it and keep trying to work through and we thought we might have been able to get second there but we’re happy with the third
regardless.”

Talking about the conditions on De Bosbaan, the Victorian athlete commented: “Rowing here is a bit like sitting on a knife edge, as you’re trying to sit on that edge and the slightest bit either way and you drop off.

“I really enjoy rowing here, the water is similar to my home in Melbourne where it’s quite cool and you can get a good lock on but at the same time it’s quite unstable at times. We’ve had a bit of a mix, we’ve had a bit of a head breeze, a couple of days a tail and in the tail it’s really quick but you’ve just got to stay on it, think really quickly and keep it together.”

In the other three A-Finals of the day, Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull finished in fourth, the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull in fifth and the Women’s Coxless Pair also in fifth.

The Women’s Quadruple Scull had a last minute lane ‘re-draw’ due to the variable weather conditions to greet them as they headed to the start in Amsterdam.

The Australian crew, stroked by Jennifer Cleary, took on the current World Champions, Germany, as well as an inform Chinese crew who were competing for the first time as a crew at this event.

Placed in Lane 3, the Australians pushed their way from fourth to third by the first 1000 metres and were looking to chase down the USA but the challenge proved an unsurmountable one as the USA surged forward to take bronze behind China and ultimately Germany who finished first.

In the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull it was a tough race for Alice McNamara and Ella Flecker as they missed out on a medal in the A-Final. The crew, coached by Mark Fangan-Hall, sat in third for the majority of the race, chasing down the middle lane pack of New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, but come the halfway mark, the crew had dropped to fourth.

By the final 500 metres, it was becoming clear that it wasn’t to be the Australia’s day as the Kiwis took the gold medal, and a new World Best Time, with Canada in second and China in third.

Victorian duo, Lucy Stephan and Charlotte Sutherland competed in the final of the Women’s Coxless Pair in windy and wet conditions in Amsterdam. The crew had a tough race, up against reigning Olympic and World Champions, Great Britain, as well as an inform United States.

The battling pair came out fighting and were sitting in fourth at the 500m mark, but spent much of the race trying to chase down the leading pack of Great Britain, USA, New Zealand and Romania. In the end, they had to settle with fifth place as Great Britain
once again took gold and a new World Best Time to boot.

Earlier in the day, Australia’s Nick Purnell competed in the C-Final of the Men’s Single Scull where he had a great race which saw him take the lead from the 1000m mark, usurping Finland’s Robert Ven and two-time Olympic champion Olaf Tufte. The New
South Welshman went on to win the race in a time of 6:47:86.

Sunday is the concluding day of the 2014 World Rowing Championships and a total of six crews racing for Australia, including the four Australian crews contesting A-Finals. The races are as follows (local Amsterdam time, 8hrs behind EST):

  • 11:03, B-Final – Women’s Coxed Eight (Vermeersch, Chatterton, Bateman, Hagan, Frasca, Goodman, Yann, Hornsey and Patrick ©)
  • 11:33, B-Final – Men’s Coxed Eight (Larkins, Crawshay, Moore, Hill, Lockwood, Laidler, Chapman, Hicks and D. Webster©)
  • 13:03, FINAL – Men’s Double Scull (Belonogoff and McRae)
  • 13:18, FINAL – Women’s Double Scull (Kehoe and Aldersey)
  • 13:33, FINAL – Lightweight Men’s Coxless Four (Silcox, Beltz, Tunevitsch and Gibson)
  • 14:18, FINAL – Women’s Single Scull (Crow)

 Rowing Australia 

Quad Silver and World Best on Day 6

ROWING: Australia’s Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull walked away with a silver medal on Day 6 at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in The Netherlands and the Women's Double Scull. produced a world best performance. 

Stroked by Hannah Every-Hall, the crew featuring Maia Simmonds, Sarah Pound and Laura Dunn, faced windy conditions out on the Bosbaan as they made their bid to become World Champions in front of a lively crowd who were cheering for the hometown favourites, The Netherlands.

The host nation lined up as defending World Champions, but it was China who took the lead at the start of the race and looked confident in their bid to take the title, however it was the Dutch who crept past them to take the lead, with Germany following suit but Australia now began to show its cards and real speed.

From Lane 4, the Australian boat, coached by Ellen Randell, began to pick up speed and overtake China and Germany and were on the march for the hosts, but they proved to be too quick, crossing the line in a new World Best Time of 6:15:95, a full eight seconds faster than the former time set by China in 2006.

Post-race, Simmonds said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that we’ve won the silver medal. It feels like we were sitting at the start line just seconds ago, it was all so fast, it’s taken a long way to get here and we’re so delighted.”

Every-Hall commented on the tail-wind conditions today: “It was great to be towards the end of the program because we knew what to expect and we had spoken about it lots before we got to the start so we were really well prepared.

“It was super exciting because it was so fast and knowing that world records were dropping left, right and centre.”

In the other two Lightweight finals of the day featuring Australia, the Lightweight Men’s Pair of Darryn Purcell and Alister Foot had a tough day in the office in their A-Final, finishing in sixth place in a race that was ultimately won by the reigning World Champions, Switzerland.

Purcell and Foot drew lane six for the final, after a re-draw earlier in the day due to windy conditions and
the outside lane proved tough for the Tasmanian-based duo. With Switzerland, France and Great Britain claiming the medals.

A similar fate befell West Australian Perry Ward in his A-Final of the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull, with
Ward drawn in Lane 5, he spent the majority of his race chasing down the eventual winners Italy, Germany and Switzerland, while also having a battle with Paul O’Donovan of Ireland to try and make the medal podium.

Prior to the medal races today, Australia qualified for four more finals at the 2014 World Rowing Championships, as the Men’s and Women’s Double Sculls, Women’s Single Scull and Lightweight Men’s Coxless Four all booked places in this weekend’s A-Finals.

Excitingly, the new 2014 Women’s Double Scull partnership of Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey broke the World Best Time in their semi-final as they took total control of the race.

The duo, coached by Jason Lane, started the season by winning the first two World Rowing Cups and continue to impress, making finals ever since. The South Australian-based partnership pushed away from the current World Champions of Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania who appeared to be battling in the blustery conditions on the Bosbaan.

Kehoe and Aldersey powered across the line in a time of 6:37:31, a new World Best Time, breaking a 12-year record held by Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell of New Zealand, Lithuania took second as New Zealand third.

Post-race Aldersey said: “It’s obviously fantastic to have a World Best Time here at the World Championships, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We’ve got to now turn our attention to Sunday’s finals which will definitely be a great race when you look at the calibre of the crews that have qualified.”

In the Men’s Double Scull, Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff and James McRae needed a top three finish to make the finals that take place this Sunday. Italy's Romano Battisti and Francesco Fossi gave it their all in the
first 1000 metres of the race, which gave them the lead but Australia, Lithuania and New Zealand were all chasing them down.

The Lithuanians snaffled the lead from the Italians who finished second, while Australia fended off a
challenge from New Zealand to claim the third spot in the finals. In the Lightweight Men’s Four, Australia secured itself another final spot after finishing second to France who had led from the start, despite being challenged by Nick Silcox, Samuel Beltz, Blair Tunevitsch and Tom Gibson.

As France powered home at a 40 stroke rate, Australia was sitting in second while the Dutch gave it their all to get ahead of Germany. On the final stroke the Netherlands qualified for the A-final alongside Australia and France.

In the semi-final of the Women’s Single Scull, defending World Champion Kim Crow successfully booked herself a place in the final of the event to be held on Sunday. China’s Jingli Duan led the race and did so for the whole semi-final, while Crow held on for second and Russia’s Julia Levina took the third spot.

The final for the Women’s Single Scull will see Crow defend her title from the current World Rowing Cup champion in the boat class, New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.

Tomorrow sees a total of five crews racing for Australia, including the four Australian crews contesting A-Finals. The races are as follows (local Amsterdam time):

  • 11:22, C-Final, Men’s Single Scull (Purnell)

  • 13:33 FINAL, Women’s Coxless Pair (Stephan and Sutherland)

  • 14:18 FINAL, Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (MacNamara and Flecker)

  • 14:33 FINAL, Men’s Coxless Four (Lloyd, Turrin, Dunkley-Smith and Pragnell)

  • 14:48 FINAL, Women's Quadruple Scull (Cleary, Edmunds, Hore and Hall)  

Rowing Australia

Para crews podium as six crews reach finals

Australia kicked off its finals campaign in style at the 2014 World Rowing Championships when all three of its para-rowing crews claimed medals on Thursday in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Erik Horrie claimed gold in the Arms, Shoulders Men’s Single Scull and retained the title he won last year, while Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis replicated their win of last year with another gold medal in the Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull.

Meanwhile, Australian Rowing Team debutants, Jeremy McGrath and Kate Murdoch crowned off their first World Rowing Championships with a silver medal in the Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull.

By virtue of winning two gold medals and one silver, Australia was the most successful nation in the para-rowing aspect of the 2014 World Rowing Championships.
 
Earlier in the day, Australia’s seven non-para-rowing crews competed for places in the finals of the 2014 World Rowing Championships, with six securing themselves places in finals over the next three days.

Victorian duo, Lucy Stephan and Charlotte Sutherland qualified for the A Final of the Women’s Coxless Pair after finishing third in a race eventually won by Megan Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds of USA. The young partnership, coached here by Mark Fangan-Hall, will face a tough final on Saturday in a race that includes current World Champions, Great Britain.

Thrills and spills occurred in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull semi-final featuring Alice MacNamara and Ella Flecker, with Australia leading the race till the last 250 metres before being pipped at the line by Canada.

The Australians needed a top three finish, in a race featuring World Champions Italy as well as Olympic Champions Great Britain. The duo led for the majority of the race but Canada crept up on the outside to take the win from Australia, while reigning World Champions Italy took third, as the Olympic Champions from Great Britain caught a boat-stopping crab in the final five metres of the race to miss out on the A-Final.

The Men’s Coxless Four took on the reigning World Champions and host nation, The Netherlands in their semi-final, along with Greece, Serbia, Germany and Ukraine. The boat, stroked by Alex Lloyd, led the race from start to finish and crossed the line first in a time of 5:54:39 and lined up a final alongside Greece, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Canada and the USA on Saturday.

Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull of Jessica Hall, Kerry Hore, Madeleine Edmunds and Jennifer Cleary also required a top three finish to make the final of their boat class and the Queensland-based crew kept up with the current World Champions, Germany, for the majority of the race.

Finishing with a time of 6:26:17, the Australians coached by Tom Westgarth, finished in second place behind the World Champions and booked themselves a place in this weekend’s final.

Darryn Purcell and Alister Foot continued the good form they found in the Lightweight Men’s repechage, to progress through their semi-final with a third place finish in blustery conditions in Amsterdam. The Tasmanian-based duo will now race in the A-Final of the event on Friday.

Joining Purcell and Foot in competing in finals tomorrow will be West Australian Perry Ward who chased down the pack in his Lightweight Men’s Single Scull semi-final to take third place.

After a good start, Ward was chasing down the pack which was led by China’s Jinbin Zhao and eventual winner Italy’s Macello Miani. Ward muscled his way through and by the final 500 metres, as China lost steam, the young sculler pinched third place, while Ireland took second.

The Women’s Eight were unable to repeat their form from the heat earlier in the week when they took on China, Russia and the Netherlands in their repechage in a bid to make the A-Final. Coxed by Lizzy Patrick, the crew finished fourth in the repechage which meant they lost out on a spot in the final this weekend and will instead compete in the B-Final on Sunday.

The Men’s Quadruple Scull came third in the C/D semi-final to progress to the C-Final, while Nick Purnell in the Men’s Single Scull C/D semi-final won his race, beating Olaf Tufte, to progress to the C-Final.

Friday sees a total of nine crews racing for Australia, including the three Australian crews contesting A-Finals. The races are as follows (local Amsterdam time):

  • 11:15, C Final – Men’s Quadruple Scull (Morgan, Grant, Girdlestone and Kobelke)

  • 13:30, B Final – Men’s Coxed Pair (Webster ©, Cunningham-Reid and Ellis

  • 14:25 – Semi-Final – Men’s Double Scull (Belonogoff and McRae)

  • 14:35 – Semi-Final – Women’s Double Scull (Kehoe and Aldersey)

  • 15:05 – Semi-Final – Lightweight Men’s Four (Silcox, Beltz, Tunevitsch and Gibson)

  • 15:45 – Semi-Final – Women’s Single Scull (Crow)

  • 16:30 – FINAL – Lightweight Men’s Pair (Purcell and Foot)

  • 16:45 – FINAL – Lightweight Men’s Single Scull (Ward)

Rowing Australia

Crow and Men's Double Scull through to semis - Day 4 Wrap

ROWING: Australia’s Kim Crow continued her path to defending her Women’s Single Scull on Day 4 at the 2014 World Rowing Championships. 

On a gloriously sunny day, Crow, competing in a quarter-final alongside scullers from Croatia, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland and Zimbabwe, finished her race some 4.69 seconds ahead of her closest rival, Genevra Stone of the USA, while Great Britain’s Victoria Thornley came in in third place.
 
“It’s good to have another win under my belt and it’s be nice that the sun has finally come out here in Amsterdam.
 
“It’s also the first time that I’ve seen the Bosbaan not with a tail wind, but that being said the course is being true to its character of being up, down and all over the place. Today’s win was a positive but I’m just focusing on each race I’m in and going from there," said the defending World Champion.
 
The Men’s Double Scull of Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff and James McRae booked themselves a place in the semi-final of their event after winning their repechage in a time of 6: 31:49.
 
The duo, coached by Rhett Ayliffe, led their race from start to finish and kept the Danish crew of Frank Steffensen and Sophus Johannesen at bay to ensure they took the top spot and a place in the semi-final.
 
Post-race, McRae said: “The conditions have been pretty variable throughout the week, so we were expecting a tail breeze today but instead got head breeze, so it took a little bit of time to adapt.
 
“We’re happy to get through the repechage and make the semi-finals but that being said, semi-finals are always tough races and for us it’s about nailing the rhythm and speed that we were getting back in Italy (where we were training before World Championships) and just making sure we adapt to the differing conditions here.”
 
McRae added that it was all about being able to adapt to the Bosbaan’s varying conditions, saying: “The Bosbaan can be difficult to race as at the start it can be calm, then at 500 metres it could be cross breeze and then by the finish it could be a tail or head wind, so I think crews that can adapt well in the conditions will do well here.”
 
The Men’s Eight, coxed by David Webster, has a tough day after missing out on a place in the A-Final after finishing in third place in their repechage. The crew needed a top two finish and were up against current World Champions, Great Britain, as well as an in-form Russian crew and despite a good first 1000 metres, the crew dropped back in the vital second half of the race to miss out on qualification.
 
David Crawshay, who occupies in the two seat in the boat, said: “I think we had a good first thousand metres but to be brutally honest in the second thousand we faltered.
 
“The first part of race was what we wanted, we got out to a good start, crucially we got a really good second 500, closed in on the leaders in that second five, but in the end when the calls came to bring the effort up and bring the rate up at the finish we didn’t have much to give and that the brutal honesty of it all.”
 
Despite the third place finish, the gold medallist from Beijing in 2008 admitted there were positives to be taken from today’s racing: “There are positives we need to take out of today’s race, because as one of our numbers said after the race, ‘If this was next year there would still be an Olympic qualification spot up for grabs for the country’, so the B-Final will be another important race for us.
 
“The positives we can take is crucially we are getting good starts and good second five hundreds which is not how it was before, we used to get out to reasonable starts and then go missing in action in the second five, so that is definitely a positive.
 
“I suppose the next step is for us to now do it in a way where we get to the third five hundred and feel like there’s still something to give in the legs for the second half of the race.”
 
The Women’s Coxed Eight competed in their delayed heat today, in a race featuring Russia, Romania, France and Canada. It was going to be a tough heat to win, especially with an inform Canadian Eight next to the Australians in Lane Five.
 
Canada led the race, which they ultimately won, closely followed by Russia, while Australia and Romania battled it out for third and fourth position. Australia, coxed by Lizzy Patrick, led the battle for third place for the majority of the way, only to be pipped at the post by the Romanians who took the third place by just 0.08 seconds.
 
Canada who won the race six seconds clear of Russia ironically did so in an identical time as the United States, who won the first heat – 6:20:96, Australia’s time in comparison was 6:30:05.
 
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculler, Perry Ward, had a great race in the quarter-finals of his boat class. The Western Australian needed a top three finish to make the semi-finals, which the 26-year-old secured after finishing in second place.
 
The sculler finished his race just 0.98 seconds behind Switzerland’s Michael Schmid who ultimately had the faster start than the Australian. When reviewing the splits in Ward’s race, the lightweight sculler was 2.62 seconds slower than Schmid in his first 500 metres, but then consistently beat the man from Switzerland with every further split in the race as he chased him down.
 
Post-race, Ward said: “It’s great to have qualified for the semi-final, but it’s now about turning my attention to that semi-final race which is tomorrow. I’m pleased with how my race plan went and hopefully tomorrow will have a positive outcome too.”
 
The other male single sculler of the Australian team competing today, Nick Purnell, missed out on a place in the semi-finals of his event, after he finished fourth in his quarter-final.
 
Purnell was in a tough field with the likes of Germany’s Marcel Hacker and Netherlands’ Roel Braas and despite overtaking Croatia’s David Sain in the final 500 metres, Purnell was outside of the top three as he crossed the line and some 12 seconds behind the winner, Hacker.
 
The Men’s Quadruple Scull, featuring Chris Morgan, Rhys Grant, Cameron Girdlestone and Kieran Kobelke competed in their repechage today in a bid to make the semi-final of their boat class.
 
The race was led from the start by an in form Swiss crew who regularly had Canada on their tail and it was ultimately these two who progressed through to the semi-finals. The Australians, coached by Tim McLaren, will now contest the C/D semi-final tomorrow.
 
The Men’s Coxed Pair of Kit Cunningham-Reid, George Ellis and coxswain Tim Webster needed a top two finish in their repechage to make the final, however despite a good start that saw the crew in second when it came to the 500 metre mark, it wasn’t their day and they ultimately finished fifth and will now contest the B-Final.
 
Tomorrow sees a total of 12 crews racing for Australia, including the three Australian para-rowing crews who will be contesting finals. 

Rowing Australia

Lightweight Men’s Pair progress before conditions cancel racing

ROWING: Darryn Purcell and Alister Foot were the only Australian crew to race on Day 3 of the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, after racing was cancelled due to unfair weather conditions. The Lightweight Men’s Pair raced their repechage and finished in second place to secure a spot in Thursday's semi-final. 

The cancellation of races 106 to 112 in Amsterdam meant that Australia’s Men’s Quadruple Scull (M4x) could not compete in their repechage and the Women’s Coxed Eight (W8+) were unable to compete in their heat. Both races will be re-run Wednesday, with the M4x competing at 13:32 local time and the W8+ at 13:53 local time.
 
Purcell and Foot needed a top three finish in the Lightweight Men’s Pair to secure themselves a place in Thursday’s semi-final here at the Bosbaan and the Tasmanian-based duo had a strong race.
 
Having switched seats from the previous race, with Purcell assuming the stroke seat, the pair, coached by Brett Crow, led for a large part of the race, having the edge over the Austrian partnership of Dominik Sigl and Markus Lemp.
 
The Austrians sat back and let the Australians take the lead until the final 250 metres, when Austria pushed past Purcell and Foot on the line to win with a 2.06 second advantage. The Australian crew had done what was required of them.
 
Foot said post-race: “We raced the heat yesterday and the race didn’t go the way we wanted so we had a seating change overnight and got out there this morning and had a couple of paddles and really focused ourselves ahead of the race to get back on track and it’s worked out for us, so we’re hoping we can keep the momentum.”
 
Looking ahead to the semi-finals on Thursday, Purcell commented: “There are two semi-finals with top three of each making the finals. We had a good attacking race today and we need to keep attacking and making the most of the opportunities that we do have and attack the upcoming race, like it’s our last, and see what happens.”
 
Day 4 (Wednesday) sees a total of eight crews racing for Australia, including the re-runs of the cancelled races. Those races are as follows (local Amsterdam time)

  • 13:32 – Repechage 1, Men’s Quadruple Scull (Kobelke, Girdlestone, Grant and Morgan)
  • 13:52 – Heat 2, Women’s Coxed Eight (Patrick ©, Hornsey, Yann, Goodman, Frasca, Hagan, Bateman, Chatterton and Vermeersch)
  • 14:49 – Quarterfinal 4, Lightweight Men’s Single Scull, (Ward)
  • 15:45 – Repechage 2, Men’s Double Scull (Belonogoff and McRae)
  • 17:09 – Quarterfinal 3, Men’s Single Scull (Purnell)
  • 17:44 – Quarterfinal 4, Women’s Single Scull (Crow)
  • 17:51 – Repechage 1, Men’s Coxed Eight (Webster ©, Hicks, Chapman, Laidler, Lockwood, Hill, Moore, Crawshay and Larkins) 

Rowing Australia

Solid Day 2 for Australian Rowing Team

ROWING: The Australian Rowing Team continued its good form on day two of the 2014 World Rowing Championships. All three para-rowing crews won their heats and in the able-bodied events there were some great rows straight into finals and some crews who will need to improve through the repechage.

In Olympic events, the Lightweight Men’s Coxless Four were up against the in-form New Zealand crew who won the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne last month. The New Zealanders led at the start but going through the 900m mark Australia pushed ahead of the Kiwis.
 
With every stroke Australia managed to move further and further away from New Zealand who remained in second and closed in marginally on the Australian crew of Nick Silcox, Samuel Beltz, Blair Tunevitsch and Tom Gibson, however it was to be Australia’s day as they claimed victory in a time of 6:15:34, some two seconds ahead of their Trans-Tasman rivals.
 
Beltz said post-race: “It’s always good to get a solid race out the way at the start of a regatta like this, we were fairly confident as we settled into our mid-race rhythm, I just called it how I saw it and slowly but surely we made it through the pack and put down on the other side for the win.
 
“It’s just a heat at the end of the day, the New Zealanders haven’t been beaten since last year’s World Championships, they haven’t been beaten all year, so sure it’s nice to take some confidence from the fact we beat them today but at the end of the day it was a top two finish to make the semi-final, and it’s all about Friday now and putting it on the line to get to the final.”  
 
Australia’s Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe began racing together at the start of this year and walked away with two World Rowing Cup wins this season and today they lead their heat of the Women’s Double Scull from start to finish. Needing a top place finish to qualify for the semi-finals the USA tried to catch the duo but the Australians fast start made it difficult to catch up.
 
Australia finished the race with a 33 stoke rate and Kehoe admitted they were happy with the result today: “We’re really happy with today it’s just a really good base to start the regatta on. We got a few things right early on and probably need to improve on some things further as we go through the week.
 
“But in general we are really happy with the preparation that we’ve had and we’ve started the regatta by putting the right foot forward.”
 
In the Men’s Double Scull’s third heat of the day, it was Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff and James Mcrae up against Italy’s Romano Battisti and Francesco Fossi for the majority of their race but the Italians held a hefty margin and despite a challenge from the Australians, Italy claimed the win. With the winning crew making the semi-final, it means Belonogoff and McRae will compete in the repechage to make the semis later this week.
 
In the final race of the day for the Australian Rowing Team, the Men’s Coxed Eight took on a strong field in their first heat, needing a first place finish to qualify direct to the final. The crew, coxed by David Webster, were up against an in-form Germany as well as reigning World Champions, Great Britain.
 
The race was ultimately won by Germany in a time of 5:37:37, who progress straight to the final, while the Australians finished in fourth and will need to compete in the repechage on Wednesday.

In non-Olympic events

The Men’s Coxed Pair and Lightweight Men’s Coxless Pair both needed a top two finish in order to progress to the A-Finals of their boat class, but neither managed it, both finished fourth, and therefore they will race the repechages later this week in a bid to make their respective A-Finals.
 
The Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull had to finish in the top two of their heat to progress to the final of their boat class, and set out with the home nation, The Netherlands who set the pace for the race.
 
The Australian crew of Hannah Every-Hall, Maia Simmonds, Sarah Pound and Laura Dunn moved with the Dutch throughout the race but it didn’t change when it came to the line with the Netherlands crossing the line first with the 34 stroke rate to Australia’s 36. The crew will now race on Friday 29 August in the final of their boat class.

Day 3 (Wednesday in Amsterdam) sees the Lightweight Men’s Pair and Men’s Quadruple Scull compete in repechages while the Women’s Coxed Eight will compete in their first heat.

Edited Rowing Australia Release

Seven crews progress at World Rowing Championships

ROWING: The opening day of the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands proved to be a positive one for the Australian Rowing Team with seven crews qualifying automatically to either quarter-finals or semi-finals at the event. 

Two crews claimed victory in their heats, current Women’s Single Scull World Champion, Kim Crow cruised to win her heat in a time of 7.24, some 13 seconds ahead of her closest rival, and progress into her quarter-final, while Lightweight Women’s Double Scull duo of Alice McNamara and Ella Flecker won their heat to make the semi-final of their boat class.
 
The seven crews to qualify through 24 August were the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull, the Women’s Coxless Pair, the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull, the Men’s Coxless Four, the Women’s Quadruple Scull, the Men’s Single Scull and the Women’s Single Scull. The Men’s Quadruple Scull finished fourth in their heat and will contest a repechage in a bid to make their semi-final.
 
Current World Champion, Crow, competed in the final race of the day on the Bosbaan, in a heat that saw her lead from start to finish. The Victorian sculler, who trains out of the National Training Centre in Canberra, had a five second lead over her competitors by the 500m mark and the gap just increased as Crow got into her stride.
 
By the finish, Crow’s winning time of 7.24 was 13.77 seconds faster than her closest competitor, Russia’s Julia Levina. She now progresses into quarter-finals to be held on Wednesday afternoon here in Amsterdam.
 
In sunny but blustery conditions, Perry Ward kicked things off for the Australian Rowing Team at the 2014 World Rowing Championships when he took to the water in the second heat of the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull earlier in the day.
 
Starting in Lane One, Ward sat back for the start of the race as Jingin Zhao of China and Portugal’s Pedro Fraga fought it out, but as the Chinese sculler looked to claim second place Ward sprinted past him, as well Paul O’Donovan of Ireland, at the 1500m mark to claim second place and a spot in the quarter-finals.
 
Post-race, Ward reflected: “It was good to get a hit out and feel for racing on the Bosbaan. It was tricky conditions but I think I was helped by the lane I was in. It’s the first time I’ve raced at the Bosbaan but I feel my preparation paid off and I worked a bit on my technique and utilized the tail-wind to help my performance.”
 
Not long after Ward’s progression, Victorian duo of Charlotte Sutherland and Lucy Stephan took to the water for their heat in the Women’s Pair. Up against an inform New Zealand crew as well as South Africa, Germany and Italy, it was going to be a tough heat for the youngsters but some hard work saw them finish in third and securing a semi-final position.
 
A total of 22 nations are entered into the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull, where McNamara and Flecker were up in Heat One needing a top place finish to qualify directly into the semi-finals on Thursday. The Australian crew didn’t have the best of starts, while Germany’s Lena Mueller and Anja Noske sprinted out from the blocks, however by the time it got to the half-way point, McNamara and Flecker showed their speed to kick down and take the race.
 
McNamara admitted there was plenty to work on ahead of Thursday’s semi-finals saying: “It’s a very competitive field and we saw that today out on the water, we came off with the win though which is a great start.
 
“The aim today was to qualify, but the times are very close so we’ve got some paddling to do tomorrow and some speed work to do too so that we’re well prepared for our semi-final on Thurday.”
 
The Men’s Four of Fergus Pragnell, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Spencer Turrin and Alex Lloyd faced a tough heat against an in-form Great Britain, as well as France, Germany and Russia. The crew, coached by Tom Laurich, needed to finish in the top two in order to make the semi-finals and that they did, finishing in second, 4.24 seconds behind Great Britain who has the fastest qualifying time of 5.45.79.
 
As the sun shone over the Bosbaan, Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull took to the water in their heat needing a top three finish against China, Belarus and Russia.
 
China came out very quickly but Australia’s crew of Jessica Hall, Madeleine Edmunds, Jennifer Cleary and Kerry Hore came out right on their tail. By the mid-way point the Australians had taken the lead which the Chinese had to wrestle back from them, and by the finish line it was China in first, with Australia finishing 1.23 seconds behind.
 
Post-race, Hall commented: “We’re pretty happy with today’s result, to get a good hit out and replicate the stuff we’ve been doing in training, but it’s back to the drawing board ahead of semi-finals so that we’re well prepared for that race.
 
“It was really quick out there and with tricky conditions but we’ve been working hard on our technique when it comes to rowing with a tail wind and its something we will continue to work on as we progress through the regatta.”
 
As the sun began to dip over Amsterdam, Australia’s Nick Purnell lined up in Heat 5 of the Men’s Single Scull against Olympic champion, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, in a race that saw Purnell finish in third as Drysdale led the race from start to finish, while Mexico’s Juan Carlos Cabrera finished in second. All three progress to the quarter-finals to be held on Wednesday.
 
On Day 2 (Monday) the first heats of the para-rowing will take place in the morning for the ASM1x, TAMix2x and LTAMix2x followed by the M2+, LM2-, LW4x, M2x, W2x, LM4- and M8+.

Rowing Australia